Novak Djokovic cops brutal French Open update ahead of main draw

The 22-time grand slam champion may have a tough road ahead.

Novak Djokovic during a press conference and Carlos Alcaraz getting angry.
Novak Djokovic (pictured left) could be drawn on the same side as Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz (pictured right) at the French Open after dropping to World No.3. (Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic could be drawn on the same side as Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz at the French Open after Daniil Medvedev overtook the Serbian on the rankings. Alcaraz was always set to head into Roland Garros as the World No.1 having won both the Barcelona and Madrid Open during the clay court season.

Djokovic was going to follow the Spaniard into the grand slam as the second seed, until the tennis world was left in shock. This is due to Daniil Medvedev winning his first major clay court tournament.

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The Russian, who has openly admitted his frustrations with clay in the past, not only won his first match ever at the Italian Open this week but he won the tournament. Medvedev defeated teen sensation Holger Rune in the final after a strong week in Rome.

And the win for Medvedev could prove to be costly for Djokovic. Medvedev moves up to World No.2, which could see Djokovic and Alcaraz placed on the same side of the draw in Paris.

Djokovic would have been hoping to avoid the Spaniard who has been far and away the most impressive player on tour since returning from injury after missing the Australian Open. Alcaraz defended both his clay court titles from Madrid and Barcelona and will have had some time to rest ahead of his trip to Paris.

Alcaraz has never won Roland Garros, despite clay arguably being his strongest surface. Djokovic has also been struggling with an elbow injury, which doesn't help his case.

The Serbian was knocked out at the hands of Rune in the quarter-final and will be fighting to be fit for a record 23rd grand slam quest in Paris. With Rafa Nadal ruled out of the tournament, Alcaraz, Djokovic, Rune, Medvedev and Jannik Sinner will most likely head into Paris duelling for the title.

Rafa Nadal announces Roland Garros withdrawal

One constant favourite on clay that won't be in Paris is Nadal. The defending and 14-time champion made the sad announcement he wouldn't be taking part at this year's Roland Garros, which leaves just one more chance for the King of Clay to take part in his most lucrative grand slam.

Nadal hasn't missed Roland Garros since 2004. “It’s not a decision I’m taking, it’s a decision my body is taking,” he said. "My goal and my ambition is to try and stop and give myself an opportunity to enjoy the next year that will probably be my last year in the professional tour.

"That is my idea but I can't say 100 per cent it will be like this, but my idea and my motivation is to try to enjoy and say goodbye to all the tournaments that have been important for me. To enjoy being competitive and something that today is not possible."

Nadal and Roger Federer's absence marks the first time since 1998 at least one of the duo won't be taking part in the competition.

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